Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Inexpensive Way to House Your Stash

Hi... it's just me Rae Ann here to share with you a fun inexpensive way to house your stash. This might be silly to some but it works well for me!

Years ago when I was growing up my father moved our family to another state and upon arrival to start his new job, he learned that the man that had hired him and was going to be his new boss had just died that afternoon of a massive heart attack. As a result he had no job! I learned a very important lesson at that time in life as I watched my parents struggle to make ends meet. My dear mother taught me during the next couple of years to make do with what you have. This caused me to look at things very differently.

So... now when I go to the store, especially Costco to buy food and I see the plastic containers that hold the food, my creative juices start flowing as to what I can do with that container. NO... I am not a hoarder. Well... maybe a bit of a fabric hoarder. LOL!

Let me show you what I mean!


This container holds 28 of my most favorite fat quarters.


It use to hold strawberries...some of my favorite fruit!


I think my fabric looks just as yummy! Don't you?


Another strawberry container holds my 2 1/2" squares.


I know... you are thinking...
"What would you put in an empty tomato container?"


I have just the answer...
All of my darling 5" squares that I have been collecting
from my Clothesline Club exchange.


Look how nicely they fit and I even had room for
my 2 charm packs of "Bella Solids" from Moda.
Now I am ready to get going on my project!


Pineapple also comes in a nice size container.


It fits my 6 1/2" square blocks like it was made for them...


and will hold them until I have completed
the rest of the blocks to make my quilt!


I used another one for the left over pieces of fabric... 


I had after making this king size quilt.
I got very tired of seeing them.


I even tried to get rid of them all
by placing them down the back.
Any takers?


Oh... how sweet the plums were and
I loved the container!


It was just plum dandy for these
pre-cut squares I found while out thrifting one day...

  

and for all of the pieces I have been finding
to go with them.


I have to say...
the salmon that comes in these containers from Costco
is so yummy,
but I do not cook it in the container like directed.
I HOARD them for...


my newest collections...


and for holding all of my folded 2 1/2" strips of Gracies!


I used this one to hold my "Ugly Quilt Contest" fabric from 
January's Dog Kennel quilt guild meeting until I was ready
to make it... which I just did! You may want to have a look
on my "Cutie Pinwheel" blog if you already haven't.


They are a great size for storing a pattern and
a project together...


not to mention a full kit!


These are Chili's sturdy little take out containers.
I like these for my little eye candy squares and scraps.


From Baby Spinach to...


Ribbons!
I even found time to label this one!


 Here's the last baby spinach bucket I emptied.
It's storing my kit that I cut for
Lori Holt's class that will be taught in
September at the "Dog Kennel's Day of Quilting".


What a treat cookies can be!


I use their containers to hold some of my craft projects.


These also come in handy for storing rick rack...


and act as a divider in my drawers. 


This is the best!!!
 When you are out of town do as I did ~ buy some cookies... eat em up... buy some fabric... of course... and a pattern... cut it out... and packed it away in your new take home cookie container ready to quilt!


Cookie buckets also make great holders for small kits.
Be sure to put a copy of the pattern front in with it
so you will remember what you were going to make!


I love it that spinach buckets come in a large size too!


They are great for storing 19 half yards of your favorite fabrics.


One of the nice things about all of these containers
 is that you can see through them.


When it is all said and done...
we can say that we have been well fed and
manicured at a very reasonable cost!

115 comments:

  1. Rae Ann, what fun a post from you. The pics are cute, but there is no way I would reuse food containers for my fabric or crafts..... there are many containers out there that are not food that can be reused.

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  2. This is such a great idea! I'll think twice now before throwing those containers out.

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  3. Wow, Rae Ann - - - - what a great bunch of ideas - and how smart not to just throw them into the trash!! I'm always looking for containers for fabric, and here, I've been throwing them away!!

    And if you're serious about a home for those "king-size" leftovers, you can send them to me! We'll find a good home for them!!

    I'm going to link up to this post on my blog to spread the word!! Thanks!!

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  4. I love this. I do hate to throw them out and you really can't use them for other food but fabric... after careful washing, no problem. Great ideas for those small collections. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  5. Rae Ann, this is the best post of all. Well thought out and photographed! And clever, too. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at it's best!! ~karen

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  6. GOOD idea....and I just threw a few out yesterday...will not do that so quickly the next time I have some!!!

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  7. What a great idea! I never thought of using food containers as storage for fabric. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Wow Rae Ann, I loved your post! Great pics and who doesn't love before and after pics! Very creative you have been, Fabulous. xo

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  9. Wow everthing in its place. I can just dream.
    I end up putting all my scraps regardless of size into a large tote container. Maybe I should sit some rainy day and go thru them all.
    Wonderful post. Thanks.

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  10. Wow you just managed to make me very hungry while at the same time feel wasteful. I have been tossing my spinach containers. No more they are mine...Thanks for the post. Now i am off to rinse off 2 strawberry containers good thing I read blogs before I clean. ;) I would love the scraps if you are getting rid of them.

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  11. I've been doing this too! They say great minds think alike. Has Mimi not heard of soap and water?

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  12. Rae Ann, this is the BEST and most ORIGINAL organizational suggestion I have seen in a long time! Have you thought of submitting this to a magazine? A winner for sure!
    I will be keeping all of my containers from now on, and I will think of you every time I look at them.

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  13. Great idea! I just wish my sewing area was half as neat and organized. I just cannot take myself away from the process to 'organize.' Perhaps after seeing what you have done, it will motivate me.

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  14. Great post! Great ideas. I'll be thinking differently when I shop from now on.

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  15. This was the best post I have read in a long time. Very efficient and practical. I will never throw one of these containers away again.

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  16. Yes! I'm glad there is someone else that thinks like I do! I've reused these containers for a long time too!

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  17. Truly inspirational...get recycling ideas and everything looks so beautiful when organized!

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  18. What a great idea. I'll be thinking of containers in a whole new way. I don't buy much plastic but maybe friends do. i am always looking for fabric scraps being on a tight budget so if you really need a new home for any send them my way!

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  19. Did I grow up in the same household???? I use the same containers. They are wonderful for all sorts of things. I love the deep ones for my tall spools of thread. The thread stays dustproof and perfect. I keep my rolls of ribbons in another and a box of leaders and enders on the sewing table.

    A little Disolv-it takes the labels off too!!

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  20. I LOVE this post, as I am an avid container person and totally into recycling!! Beautiful, inspiring pictures!

    Some of my favorite things, like baby spinach, have started putting labels on in such a way that they simply peel off, but some are really difficult...any ideas on how to remove stubborn sticky labels??

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    In stitches, Teresa :o)

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  21. I just love this post. I'm going to have to start saving all my containers. I was trying to find a good way to store my projects and fabric and this is definitely it.

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  22. FYI, I have found that Endust will remove most "stick-um" products - just spray it on thick, let it set for a few minutes, and wipe away.

    Rae Ann, now when I go to the grocery store, I'll be looking more at the container than at the product inside!!

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  23. I love your ideas for storing fabric Rae Ann!

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  24. Applause, applause, Rae Ann. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas.

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  25. I will be eating more salads at fast food places from now on. Thanks for the suggestions

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  26. U R something else!! I think that I need you to come to visit my quilting room and help me organize it. For me, mess is the result of being an avid scrap quilter. Thank you for your blog.

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  27. Great post! I've recently started using the Costco strawberry containers for leftover strips--they work great, and have used a few of the square ones for larger squares, but now I think I need to go purchase some spinach. Meal planning is going to have a new hidden aspect--what container does it come in?!

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  28. Brilliant! I have used the Costco spinach containers for scraps, but now I see the possibilities with other pieces of my stash. Awesome!

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  29. Good way to hold all the pieces you've cut for a quilt but haven't sewn yet. Keeps them neater than putting in a ziplock bag.

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  30. A lot of these plastic produce containers have ventilation holes which is a good thing for long term fabric storage. I've heard that really air tight plastic containers could lead to mildew in damp climates. (Probably not a problem here in arid Southern California, but I do try to make sure that my fabric can "breathe" just in case.)

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  31. By the way, my most troublesome storage problem is for 18 inch strips I've cut out for a particular project because I want to keep them flat so they won't get distorted before I sew them. Anyone got any suggestions?

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  32. Wowzer... what great ideas... I have often wondered how to reuse/recycle those little containers and now I will have lots of ideas... thanks so much...

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  33. Very clever - and they would make great gifts if you did a little scrapbooking magic and made some nice labels for the containers. I will look at these so differently now.

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  34. Love your idea of reusing the plastic containers! I'll be jumping in on this one.

    As for your little scraps from your king size quilt... yes, I'd love them! ♥ Gorgeous fabrics and just right for a mini paper piecing quilt. My favs!

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  35. This is the best organizing idea...amazing Rae Ann...the best Stash Manicure post ever! And I was just at Costco ... now I want to get back quick!

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  36. I hope it's okay...I just tweeted this post on twitter as the best organizational post I've ever seen!

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  37. OH MY .... now I have to get containers! You are SO CLEVER!

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  38. I can't wait to go to the grocery store!!

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  39. You made me want to go grocery shopping-my most hated chore of the week. You deserve a prize just for doing that! Thanks for sharing your ideas, but I really need to get sewing, and stop just organizing the fabric :)

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  40. That is such a great idea, and one that I already use. Those clear containers that would just get thrown away are great for storage of all kinds.

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  41. OMG! I will never look at another plastic container in the same way again. I agree with Marilyn - grocery shopping is my most hated chore of the week. Now I will be looking for all of those foods in plastic containers. Thank for the wonderful ideas!

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  42. What a great idea, can't believe I never thought of this before! Thanks so much for sharing and with such pretty pics as well! If you're really looking for a new home for those scraps I'd be happy to give them a loving home :-)

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  43. I am always on the search for OPS (Other People's Scraps) because I enjoy the challenge of making scrap quilts from a huge variety of fabrics. Since I recently started quilting, this seems the best way to accumulate a scrap stash. Any takers? Yes, I would love to use them. I too am a keeper of containers and use kleenex boxes. Also, the lids from larger coffee containers is perfect for carrying hand sewing notions from room to room.

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  44. I LOVE all these ideas! The blueberry container I put in the recycle bin last week would have been great for something, I'm sure.
    Thank you so much!

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  45. Fantastic way to recycle all those containers, I like clear containers, makes it much easier to see what I have.

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  46. It's great when our sewing areas can be organized. That way when we only have a few minutes to sew we aren't spending most of that time trying to find fabric.

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  47. Wow! My grocery shopping will never be the same again! Now I have some serious re-organising to do! Thanks for sharing such inspiration :)

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  48. Rae Ann this is the absolute best post! I'll be grocery shopping with whole new eyes! Thank you!

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  49. You are so creative and resourceful. I love those ideas! Thank you so much for sharing, I can hardly wait to finish my spinach :)

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  50. Thank you! I love this idea. My kids eat a lot of fruit and I'm always low on containers to hold my fabrics. Now I won't feel guilty every time I toss their containers.

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  51. What a WONDERFUL idea!!! My hubby is always telling me that those containers can be reused for something...I thought he meant 'leftover food', not 'leftover fabric', or extra fabric, or just any fabric!!! Wow, why didn't I listen to him, LOL? Probably because your display of the containers with fabric in them is much more appealing to the eye (and the creative mind)!

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  52. By the way...your king size quilt is absolutely gorgeous! Still trying to get rid of that leftover fabric? o/ ... That's me raising my hand, waving it wildy around. *wink*

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  53. Whagt great ideas and results look so pretty aws well. I have been trying to 'grab your button' to add to my blog but don't seem to be able to make it happen can anyone help me

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  54. Wow. My overly-organized life now has new meaning. I never thought of this, and now feel so foolish for paying for bins from Target. This is a much better idea! Plus, it's a great excuse to buy yummy food from Costco! I may have to go tomorrow to get some, and of course a sample or two :)

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  55. This is a great post with lots of fun container examples. I love it!!!

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  56. You've changed the way I look at these containers. I've been recycling them, but now I'm going to recycle them into my sewing room. And I just bought a tub of baby spinach that will work perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

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  57. Great recycling Rae Ann Love it!Thankyou for sharing
    Cheers
    Lynne

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  58. I'll never look at food containers the same way again! Great ideas!

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  59. Great tips and I have to say I will always look at food containers differently now!! Thanks.
    Mary

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  60. OH MYYYYYYY! Rae Ann, you are AMAZINGLY CLEVER!! I loved your ideas for storage and what a green sewist you are!! You are wonderful! Polly

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  61. Rae Ann I do the exact thing and sometimes I feel that if I do not stop I will become a hoarder. I am so glad someone else out there shares my passion for recycling.

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  62. Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  63. I can't decide if you're nuts or a genius...probably a bit of both and I LOVE IT!! I will NEVER look at food in any kind of container the same way again! I can't wait to get to the grocery store - I sure I need something in plastic! I'm definitely going to buy croissants - they come in a nice wide container...and I love the strawberry size...you've given me just the motivation I need to re-do my stash!! Thanks so much! xo, Nan

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  64. Oh, Rae Ann, looks wonderful - I wish I had a little Storage Angel!
    Hugs - Lurline♥

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  65. Recycling is a great idea!! I am a hoarder and always feel guilty throwing those wonderful cartons away. Now I don't have to anymore.

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  66. Now - I will show this to my friends who think I am nuts saving my containers for using to store fabrics instead of those pricey,showy store bought ones; I've been storing this way since starting, so pretty to look at, as well so much easier to see what is in the container rather than labeling - thank you

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  67. Well, Well miss clever! I am so inspired. I think I will go clean out the fridge and organize. Wow...who ever thought I could get two jobs done at once... Life Changing:) Thanks!

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  68. Fabulous post - I love seeing all of the fabrics out where you can see them - so pretty. I'm off to check my fridge and cupboards for future stash containers! Thanks for sharing such a fun idea.

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  69. What a cracking idea! Stores here in the UK are finally trying to package foods less, so alot of our stuff is now is crinkly plastic bags that will biodegrade. But summer fruits and toms are still in cartons so now I'll be keeping them, instead of recycling them!
    Our local Scrapstore here in Hull, has an endless supply of square plastic sweetie boxes the kind that are supplied to shops, and sometimes the older fashioned plastic sweetie jars too ( which I put my old lace into).
    I use the square ones alot for the zillions of beads n bits Ive collected, okay hoarded.... but your idea for fabrics is much better! Thank you So much for the idea!

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  70. Just a thought about the 18" strips mentioned amongst the messages!
    Could you hang them from say, a trouser hanger?
    They come with two grabby bits at each end, maybe you could use pegs to hang the strips vertically off the hanger, in bewteen the attached grabby bits?
    Betterwear over here and Lakeland, sell larger sized pegs for hanging heavier stuff on washing lines. They may be suitable to use?

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  71. Wow!! That is a fantastic way to store your fabric and projects. I would not have thought of that. Thank you for sharing, Rae Ann!

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  72. And thanks for becoming my newest follower too!

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  73. Great ideas. I have been saving strawberry containers for a long time. I have all of the same size so they stack nicely. I have different sizes in each and labelled to find quickly. I just started saving the smaller blueberry ones to put 2 1/2 inch squares in.

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  74. Wonderful! I had a peach container the other day and tried to figure out what I could use it for...wish I had seen your blog sooner! But I know now with I will do them!!

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  75. Great post, I pleased to see it. I've been using these for years for absolutely everything. I use them in the freezer too, to keep small containers or freezer bags of same items organized. In the bathroom for cosmetics and vitamins. In the closet for socks and stockings and scarves. Very handy items, and I too use them most in my sewing room. Thanks for spreading the word!

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  76. WONDERFUL IDEA! Thank you so much! Citriscent can also be used to removed the labels and would leave a nice orange smell without residue!

    Mimi, I am just cuirous - why not use food containers for storage? It is a wonderful way to recycle/re-purpose items which would just end up in a landfill somewhere. I dont understand and I would like to..........

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  77. Fantastic ideas.
    I presently use these plastic containers to put down african violet leaves (to make babies=more plants) but I will start thinking outside the box now.

    To the person who is looking for ideas for storing her 18" strips - I use the largest pizza box I can get from the local pizza joint. They will give you a clean one (or some will charge you for them but they are very cheap.). I also keep these pizza boxes to keep my finished blocks in while they await being sewn into their final destination.

    Jocelyne

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  78. So clever Rae Ann, I've used a few containers for UFO projects, like the cookie container. Recycle and Reuse and the plastic isn't going into the landfill. You're a great example, thanks for sharing. Love to hear about frugal ideas with the downturn in the economy.

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  79. OMG - a reason to eat more pre-cut salad - and I have a problem eating salad - so maybe I'll just skip the salad and get the container???

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  80. Ohhh Fiddledee my dear, what a delightful idea. I will never ever look at any of these containers in the same way. I called my manager of our local food store to see if I could purchase a couple of dozen of these containers, you got me that excited...lol. FYI how are your Mom and Dad, did they fair off better in their years. What a delightful daughter they raised. God Bless you and them...
    ( ps. I think the first time I wrote this it disappeared somewhere) lol. Blessings madame samm

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  81. Very clever my dear....while I don't have access to the larger ones, and wish I did, my friend who runs a daycare/pre-school does and I'm going to ask her to save them for me. Thanks for the nifty idea!

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  82. Rae Ann, Beautiful photos, lucious fabrics, great ideas---super storage! If only I had that much fabric to contain!!!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Heather

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  83. GREAT IDEAS TO PASS ON! Can't tell you how often I have just ached when throwing some of those containers away. I kept thinking there must be a use for them...now I know what it is!
    Thanks

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  84. I love this idea too, to keep projects ingredients all together. ACK! I have thrown out two spinach tubs in the last three weeks. WAHHHHHHH.

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  85. yesssss!!! Thanks for posting this! We just bought a big box of spinach for some soup this week. I'll have to rescue it before it makes its way out to the recycling bin.

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  86. Genius idea Rae Ann! I love how tidy it makes everything.

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  87. I am certainly going to take a cue from you and save some of those containers. What good ideas you have for using them.

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  88. Rae Ann, that is the best idea I have seen in a while. You are such a genius. Thanks for sharing.

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  89. Hello Rae Ann you had me in such a tizzy on collecting all these containers, ( I may not have that much time left to accomplish this) so I thought best to hurry this whole adventure in manicuring -- I called my local grocer owner. I picked up over 200 containers and have been busy all afternoon, completing the impossible..lol. and the cost, a couple quick breads that I have to bake for tomorrow mornings meeting at their store...Not bad I say...please do not show me anymore great ideas. I don't think my heart can take it ...I am off to have a nap wink...blessings madame samm

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  90. This is so funny. I put all my Costco containers in the recycling bin and my husband takes them out and uses them for his receipts, screws and whatever his is working on at the time that has little parts. Well no more, I will be using them for my fabric stashes!

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  91. You're so awesome Rae Ann! I was scrolling down through the posts really quick and I saw all of these fabulous picture of fabric folded up in cute little containers and food (!?!) and it caught my attention. I knew right away that it was you who was posting. It was a great post and a great reminder to get creative & resourceful. Thanks Rae Ann! You're fabulous!

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  92. Hi Rae Ann!
    Oh, I loved your post! Awesome ideas to store fabrics!! It's pure eye candy to look at those little collections!
    I now go grocery shopping with a whole new perspective... {are you able to wash those containers hot where the fish was in? I've had some of those plastic boxes (fish/meat) that weren't heat resistant - I discarded them because of bacteria}.
    I didn't forget about the blog button I promised to make - I'm so sorry, life has gotten a bit chaotic last week...I hope to catch up very soon! Please forgive me...
    Hugs, Julia

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  93. I love this idea. I have never thought about using them from my fabric. I guess we better hurry and eat the Cherry Tomatos in the fridge. Also if you need a home for the king size quilt scraps they are welcome here.

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  94. Great recycling ideas. I will reconsider before throwing away such nice sized containers. Thanks for sharing.

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  95. Hola Rae Ann, me gustó la idea de reciclar los recipientes de las frutas y verduras ,para meter los retazos de telas.Yo utilizo los recipientes de mantequilla y del dip para chaquiras ,lentejuelas ,canutillos etc.. Gracias por compartir esas ideas.Saludos Paula

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  96. So many wonderful ideas. I have been recycling them and now I can USE them. Attractive as well! Thanks for all the great ideas.
    Cynthia

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  97. I love the look of your last pic - with the containers - all see through - fabrics neat as can be. And love the comments - though I am curious what everyone does with their scraps - I am at a loss of what to do with the mixture of styles, colors and itty-bitty pieces...

    found your blog tonight - gonna add to my list of "checking these out"...visit my blog when you get a chance - I do a bit of quilting, a bit of stitching

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  98. brilliant idea! and excuse to buy posh cookies!

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  99. Awesome idea! I love the spinach container form Costco. I'll have to start saving those containers. I knew there was a reason to buy more cookies. I "need" the containers to organize my sewing room :) Thanks for a brillant idea!

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  100. I'm glad to see another one that lusts after those store containers! Before any gets tossed into the recycle bin, my DH asks if I want to keep them. I have a nice stash of those containers.

    I have gone a step further with the Costco flat bottom boxes that you see on their shelves and what you put your groceries in. I keep those boxes for storing my projects in. It keeps everything .... including the backing fabric that is to be used to finish the quilt. My quilts are mostly queen size and I needed a nice sturdy box to keep everything in. It costs nothing and they stack very nicely.

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  101. Gracias, mil gracias, qué buena y linda idea!!!! Grs.

    Saludes desde Costa Rica,

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  102. What a fantastic idea! I've used ice cream buckets for scraps but these make things look so pretty. Thanks for shraing.

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  103. THIS is a great idea!!! I love that it's a re-use, that there is no purchase of new totes required, that they are see-thru, that you have the pattern with the pieces... brilliant, totally just dug through my recycle bin and pulled out the spinach container... I'll be power-munching plums tomorrow to get that container fabric storage ready! I'm a new quilter and love how you girls cube up your scraps so they are all ready to be sewn together. Brilliant! Thanks for yet another great idea!

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  104. I love this idea! Thanks so much. Can't wait to try it out!

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  105. Hi All:
    I *think* Mimi's point was that there are LOTS of containers available for re-use, not just food containers. And, if I may be so bold, it reads to me that her preference would be to use non-food containers instead of food ones.

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  106. Thanks for the great ideas! I'm a re-user too! A note on removing the adhesive.. Goo Gone is a great little product for that.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  107. I'm doing a program on organizing your sewing room with my guild. Do you mind if I print one copy of this to show them what great ideas you have?

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  108. I love it! My mom was also very good at saving containers & reusing them. Maybe that's why I have a "thing" for containers. I especially like how these ideas are see-through. Thanks for sharing!

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  109. I love reusing containers. I haven't used any for fabric but I think about it. I use jars and tubs for holiday organization a lot. I even recently used a pickle jar to coral pens, scissors, and such on the table in the basement. My brother likes that fact that things aren't hidden under his schoolbooks. lol.

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